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FRIEND TO THE MAORI

DEATH OF MB. L. M. GRACE

ORIGIN OF NATIONAL PARK

The death occurred today at his residence, 50 Bussell Terrace, of Mr. Lawrence Marshall Grace, J.P., a most interesting personality, and one of the few remaining sound authorities on the Maori language, laws, and customs. He was in his eightieth year. Many peoplo in Wellington will remember him as a man o£ striking appearance and great stature. Prom his very earliest days he was thrown into close contact with the Maori race, and this intimate association lasted all his lifetime. He was the third son of, the Eev. T. S. Grace, Church of England missionary in the early days of New Zealand history. He was bom at "Bishopscourt," Parnell, Auckland, in 1854. Before he was a year old he was taken by his parents to the newly-established mission station at Pukawa, on the south-western shores of Lake Taupo, his mother being the first white woman ever to penetrate to those regions. Thus from an early age ho came to know the Maoris well, and his affection and esteem for them was largely to influence his life in later years. When he was ten years old the mission station had to be abandoned. The Maori wars were being waged, and hostile ridding parties from outside threatened to be a gravo menace to the isolated missionary and his family after the protecting Taupo war parties had left, to fulfil their' pledges which they had made to join the Waikato people in their fights'against the British. With their staunch friends and defenders gone, the little party left their home and carried out an arduous and perilous journey to* the coast and thence to Auckland by ship. Mr. Grace was educated privately, and at the Church of England Grammar School in Auckland when • Dr. Kinder was headmaster. - ...After he left school there began for Mm a most varied but interesting life. The Thames goldfields claimed, him for a short time, and then for some years with his twin brother he carried, out a losing ■ battle sheep farming on the pumice lands of the Waimarino Plains, near where the Chateau now stands. He was articled to a firm of barristers and solicitors, and about tho same time became a Maori interpreter when much of his work was with the Native Land Courts. . PEAKS OF NATIONAL PARK. In 1885 he. married To Kahui Te Heuheu, a daughter of the paramount chief of Taupo and sister to the late Hon. Te Heuheu, M.L.C. Just before his death the famous old chief had been much' concerned about the disposal of the mountain peaks, Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, and Buapeliu, sacred to his,, memory, especially Tongariro, which had long'been the burial ground of his ancestors. Hedid not want the peaks and surrounding land, which were admittedly his, to pass into alien hands on his death. 'When he discussed the matter with Lawrence Grace the latter suggested that the best plan would be to hand the.territory over to both the pakeha and Maori as a gift. This idea pleased the old man greatly, and when Mr. Grace in. 1885 became member of Parliament for Tauranga, he coni- ; menced'the long negotiations which culminated in the land being gratefully accepted by the Government, and thus was formed the nucleus of the National Park. In 1894, Mr. Grace joined the Native. Department,. and was Maori in; terproter to .the Houso of. Representatives for many, years. He retired just after tho Great AVar. His wifo died in 1929. ' , . [ ,-The surviving sister and brothers are Mrs.- H. Brittain, the Eev. Arthur Grace, and Mr. C^ Grace, of Auckland, and Licutenant-CohDuel A. A. Grace, of Nelson, all being younger than the deceased. Mr. W. H. Grace and Mrs. Charles Jennings have long been deceased, and during the war Archdeacon Grace, of Marlborough, died. Last year Mr. Grace lost his twin brother, Mr. John Grace, of Tokaanu, and also the Eev. George Grace, Beotor of Alfold, Surrey, England. He, leaves two sons aiid fivo daughters. That he did a great deal for the Maoris, whom he loved, and that he knew a lot about them there is no doubt, but it is to bo regretted that there are no publications from his great stoic of knowledge! Notes of intensely interesting things there are, but, despite his industry in other matters, it seemed that always . his retiring nature and extreme sensitiveness made him shrink from public notice and prevented him froni adding a very useful contribution to New Zealand history.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19340110.2.68

Bibliographic details

FRIEND TO THE MAORI, Evening Post, Volume CXVII, Issue 8, 10 January 1934

Word Count
754

FRIEND TO THE MAORI Evening Post, Volume CXVII, Issue 8, 10 January 1934

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